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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Three New Suspects Arrested in Boston Bombing; New Video Shows Crash of Boeing 747 in Afghanistan
Aired May 1, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: To PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Tonight breaking news on the new arrest in the Boston bombing case. Exclusive new video showing the moment the two of the new suspects were taken into custody as police were actually hunting for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED SWAT OFFICER: Hands up, Dzhokhar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, do you think it's him?
UNIDENTIFIED SWAT OFFICER: Put your hands up, and no one will get hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody stay there, OK? Do not move.
UNIDENTIFIED SWAT OFFICER: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, come out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not stand up. It's OK, it's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED SWAT OFFICER: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, you are being arrested now. Come out with your hands up and elevate your hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov were college classmates and friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and they were taken away by police that day. The yearbook picture has also emerged showing Tsarnaev and the third suspect, Robel Phillipos, who are friends of his in high school. The three have been charged today in federal court with lying to investigators and obstructing justice.
Prosecutors said they conspired to hide and destroy evidence linking Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the deadly attacks. Two of the suspects photographed with Dzhokhar in Times Square in 2012 believed to be the next target for Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan.
Was there a larger conspiracy? More on that in a moment.
Also tonight, victimized because of the Boston bombings, a Muslim taxi driver who served in the U.S. military says he was attacked by a passenger simply for being a Muslim. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that it was right for the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going call you right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- terrorists to fly planes into the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to call you to the police. OK. Whatever you're saying is recorded. And -- now you're punching me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It's a shocking video and that taxi driver joins me live. That's coming up.
And later, fatal plunge captured by dashboard camera, extraordinary footage of a 747 falling from the sky. We warn you the images are disturbing. Seven Americans in the cargo plane were killed. What went so badly wrong? We'll get to that, too.
So a lot on tonight. I'm going to start, though, with CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti who's in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Brian Todd is outside the courthouse in Boston.
We begin with Susan. Susan, again, a lot of key developments today, not least of which the arrest of these three characters and charges now, relation to a number of offenses. Tell me exactly what they have been charged with.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's been quite a day, hasn't it, Piers. Yes, we've got word of this, and the charges that we're talking about are lying to investigators and obstructing justice. A conspiracy to obstruct justice. No one is saying that they were directly involved in the bomb plot, not at this time. These charges have to do with when authorities caught up with them to get information about Dzhokhar and possibly his brother.
They said that they weren't told the truth. But that these guys went on and did more than that. That they actually took some evidence that belonged to Dzhokhar and allegedly picked it up and got rid of it for him to protect their friend. Those are the charges.
MORGAN: And what do we know about these new suspects? What do we know about the relationship with Dzhokhar? Did they know Tamerlan? What has come out so far?
CANDIOTTI: It seems that at least from some of the people we have spoken to around here that both brothers occasionally spent time at this very apartment behind me. This is the one where the suspects were living. And so we know that they also went, at least one of them, to high school together with Dzhokhar, Phillipos. And the other two all attended -- they all attended college together here at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth campus, which is not far from here.
But some intriguing information also coming out about what happened after those videos were released by the FBI when they knew that they were looking for the two brothers. And at that time, according to the criminal complaint, at that point, one of them texted -- one of the students texted Dzhokhar and said to him, you know, you kind of look like that suspect that they're showing on television. And he got a reply, a texted reply, according to these documents, "LOL," laugh out loud. That's what Dzhokhar responded.
And then Dzhokhar allegedly texted, "Come to my room and take what you want." At that point, that's when these young men went from this place over to the dorm room and picked up the backpack and some other items, including a laptop, as well, that they have been trying to find -- Piers.
MORGAN: And did we think from these charges, Susan, that the FBI believed that any of these three had prior knowledge of the bombings? Because that I would imagine is the key question.
CANDIOTTI: Well, that's right. And at this time, there's no evidence to support that. Authorities have repeatedly said right now we are charging them with being involved in this after the fact. And, of course, when all of this happened, and authorities were still trying to find Dzhokhar, within hours after releasing those photographs, some odd things happened.
On Facebook, for example, according to information from my colleague, Deborah Feyerick, sources are telling her that Dzhokhar and one of the suspects changed their photograph on their Facebook page, deleted one photograph, one of the students' here photograph of him with Dzhokhar. And then Dzhokhar and that same student changed their photographs on Facebook. So -- but here, you know, you saw that video that's very -- was really threw up the neighborhood, that's when they came and raided this neighborhood, looking for Dzhokhar, the whole SWAT team.
MORGAN: Right. Yes. We're watching a bit of it again now. Really quite extraordinary. That's when they thought they had Dzhokhar. In fact, it turned out to be two of the other suspects who've been charged today.
Susan, thank you very much indeed for now.
Brian Todd, you were in the court today. What was the demeanor of these three suspects, would you say?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Piers, they all looked a little bit nervous when they were brought in. At least two of them were in handcuffs. They were all in leg irons when they were brought in. It was an interesting moment when the judge, Mary Ann Bowler, kind of confronted one of them. She said, I would advise you to pay attention to what I'm saying, pay attention to me and not look down. So she was kind of annoyed with him.
That turned out to be pretty much the least of their problems, Piers, as they were read the accusations against them. They were read those charges and they did say that they understood them. Also, they all three pretty much were -- they waived bail in this, they've agreed to voluntary detention. There is a probably cause hearing in two weeks. That's another thing we found out today about this set of hearings here.
So they all, though, appeared fairly nervous then their attorneys, of course, came out and talked to reporters and denied that their clients were involved in any kind of conspiracy to obstruct justice, saying that they did not know that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was involved in the bomb plot. Of course, this complaint says otherwise, that at least after the fact, they did know or they did at least sense very keenly that he was a part of the bomb plot.
But their lawyers say that they did not and that they did not knowingly dispose of any evidence in this case -- Piers.
MORGAN: I mean, one of the most fascinating details in this complaint is sort of buried away as some of the others are, too, which is the revelation that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev openly discussed his ability to make a bomb with two of these three suspects a month before the Boston bombings in a restaurant. Tell me about that.
TODD: It's fascinating. I've got to tell you. You know, there are a lot of great details in this complaint, first and foremost. And if you go online and read them, it's -- it's pretty interesting reading. But this is a footnote of all things on page 11 of this complaint. It says that about a month before the marathon bombings, when two of these three suspects, the two Kazakhstani students, were having a meal with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, that he explained to them, he quote, "knew how to make a bomb."
Now, again, that could be just kind of an innocuous conversation at a meal and it could just very offhand. But at least they did hear from him one month before the bombings that he knew how to make a bomb. There is also a vignette in here where it says that probably two months before the bombings, one of them, and that is Azamat Tazhayakov, set off fireworks along the banks of the Charles River with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Again, seemingly it could be innocuous, it could be just one of those things were two young men are getting together and doing that. But again, with those two incidents in mind, there might have been some inkling among these three that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could at least be capable of doing something like this.
MORGAN: Right. Brian Todd, thank you very much indeed.
Want to bring in now Juliette Kayyem. She's a CNN national security analyst and former Homeland Security assistant secretary.
Juliette, the more you read this complaint today, the more a pretty disturbing picture emerges that at the very least suggests that these suspects after the event did what they could to obstruct the investigation and also did what they could to get rid of damning evidence. But also as we discussed with Brian just then, hinting details, really, that they may have had some prior knowledge. What do you make of it?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think that's right. I think we should look at this complaint as sort of the first salvo by the U.S. attorney's office to at least keep them in jail for some time. One has to assume, and we know that the investigation is ongoing. There can be further additions to the complaint, that's totally normal in a -- in any case.
I think one of the most additional damning aspects of it is at one stage, one of the -- of the three roommates or friends actually had admitted to an FBI agent that he never expected to hear from Dzhokhar again after the picture was released on Thursday. So that does make you wonder whether he knew not only that Dzhokhar was responsible for the Boston marathon bombings, but also that what he was doing was to help him either escape or hide the evidence.
You know, this is consistent with sort of this discussion we've been having for a couple of weeks about why did they not have an exit strategy. Their bombing seems sophisticated, they pulled it off on time. And yet the exit was not -- clearly not planned. I mean, he's bringing in his friend, his roommates, to try to cover up evidence that is so clearly going to, you know, make him look very, very guilty.
MORGAN: Right. And the other big -- development today involved Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow Katherine Russell. It's emerged that she told investigators that she spoke to her husband on the phone after his picture appeared on television as one of the two suspects being sought after the FBI released those pictures. Why is that so significant?
KAYYEM: Well, it just shows the nature of their relationship. Everyone has wondered sort of -- you know, he seems to have had sort of a solo life, despite the fact that she was working all the time and they had this child. If they had the kind of relationship in which they were at least communicating at the moment when he is hiding from everyone, it may mean either that she knew or that she had a strong suspicion of what he had been up to.
We can't know at this stage. And you know, as we all know, the family members, what they say or alleged to have said really do have to be investigated, put up to cross-examination, because at this stage, between the parents and the wife and the uncle, there is a very complicated family dynamic going on quite publicly. But it is important. She is here. She is in Cambridge, and she is, you know, readily accessible to investigators here.
MORGAN: Right. Juliette Kayyem, thank you very much indeed.
What do these arrests say about the bombing investigation and will more people be taken into custody?
Joining me now is former Boston Police commissioner, Bill Bratton.
Bill Bratton, when you read this complaint, a lot of detail here has emerged, involving three more people, three more suspects. They have been charged with various offenses. Is there enough in totality, do you think, to suggest a wider conspiracy in the Boston marathon bombings?
BILL BRATTON, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Police investigations, criminal investigations, a long road of speculation interrupted by moments of clarification. Today was a moment of clarification. We had three additional suspects now coming into the picture after the fact. There's nothing that I'm aware of or heard of, news reports or people I've been interacting with, that would indicate that these young men were aware before the fact.
We will learn more, certainly, as the investigation goes forward. But right now we have to deal with the clarification that we received today, which had a lot of detail. Those complaints had a phenomenal amount of detail in them.
MORGAN: Right. And if you actually piece together some of it like a puzzle, if you like, you have this meal in a restaurant a month before the bombings where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tells two of the suspects that he knows how to make a bomb. If you then cut forward to the text messages sent after the bombing, and which triggers the three of them going into Dzhokhar's room and removing a backpack, fireworks, and, of course, Vaseline -- now the Vaseline to me is the most fascinating aspect of this, because you would have to know that Vaseline was part of a bomb-making process to want to remove it in that situation.
I wouldn't have known that. I don't think many people would know that unless they had knowledge.
BRATTON: Well, that complaint gives rise to additional speculation for which we will now be seeking clarification. Why, in fact, if they had limited contact, with Dzhokhar, would they have taken those specific items? Absent having more detailed requests from him to take those items out of the room. Same thing for the missing laptop that's of great interest to the federal authorities. With these young men involved and removing that and disposing of it.
I think you may recall also that there was a lot of film at the time of the federal agencies at a local garbage dump, a landfill. And is that the area that the young men were believed to have disposed of these items that they took out of the apartment. So, again, we'll get more and more as the days go on. But today was a very significant clarification of what was happening after the bombing.
MORGAN: Finally, Bill Bratton, there is an ongoing debate about civil liberty going on now about how far they should be impinged in relation to catching terrorists. And particularly in light of this e-mail traffic, Internet use and so on. But what is your view about where the balance should be struck between an individual's right to civil liberty and between the right to go after terrorists and catch them?
BRATTON: Well, in terms of this particular case, I think it's being handled very well. That the emergency exception that the FBI used initially in not informing him of his rights, they got a lot of information. That exception is for the purpose of insuring that there were not other devices, if you will, or more danger -- immediate danger to the public.
I would be very reticent to start doing away with our civil liberties around the issue of terrorism. It's very easy to get on a very quick and slippery slope once you start going in that direction. In this particular case, I think it's working out very, very well with the use of the civil liberties that they are entitled to.
MORGAN: Commissioner, as always, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, three 19-year-olds arrested today. Were they simply trying to help a friend or something more? I'll ask former attorney general Mike Mukasey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT STAHL, ATTORNEY FOR DIAS KADYRBAYEV: I believe that the citizens of Boston can fairly and accurately listen to the rules of law, and give someone a fair trial, at least that's at this moment in time. So that's all I have to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's Robert Stahl representing Dias Kadyrbayev. He's one of three friends of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Arrested today and charged with obstruction of justice in the case.
Joining me now is Mike Mukasey, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush. Mike, it's a fascinating amount of detail in this complaint today. But with your old attorney general hat on, have we got here just three late teenage kids who have been trying to clumsily help friends, thinking they're in trouble but not quite sure how much? Or is there something a lot more sinister going on?
MIKE MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I think calling them three kids who tried to help a friend trivializes it a bit. This was not a violation of the curfew or covering up for somebody cheating on an exam or engaging in underage drinking. These defendants, and one of them dead, the other in hospital, are charged with committing one of the most heinous crimes we have seen in recent times. People maimed, people killed, people whose lives will never be the same.
So three kids covering up, I think, trivializes it somewhat. Also, they acted fairly deliberately. I think they knew from their -- from their roommate what the nature was of the material that they were trying to dispose of. Oddly, they picked a backpack that contained the remains of some fireworks. They picked a computer. They picked Vaseline. Now, I don't know whether Vaseline is or is not involved in bombmaking. If it is, that, of course, makes it yet more sinister.
MORGAN: Right. We did check this out, and apparently it is used. There is a particular thing you do with some of the leads involving Vaseline. So -- but it would take specialist knowledge to know that. So you have to imagine that they knew that the Vaseline was potentially a key piece of evidence, and that takes them away, I am sure, everyone would think this, from being the kids, the teenagers trying to help friends, into a much more serious situation, doesn't it?
MUKASEY: Well, they don't necessarily have to have been specialists themselves. But if the only thing that tipped them off was a text message that said take what you need, then it was obvious that somebody was told beforehand what it was that had to be taken. If they simply stumbled upon the room and take whatever you want -- if they simply stumbled upon the room and found the backpack with the fireworks, that's one thing. The computer raises it yet to another level. But the Vaseline, it seems to me, there is no way they could have known about that, unless somebody told them about it before.
MORGAN: Right. Now, how crucial is this laptop going to be? Could it be that the FBI have it, haven't named it in this particular complaint. Could that be for investigative reasons? Are they still poring over the details of this? Is it likely they have got it, do you think?
MUKASEY: I don't know whether it's likely or not. They're obviously looking through a dump, wherever it was taken. The complaint says it was put in a garbage bag, that tossed in the bargain and taken away by a truck. Obviously they know which municipality picks up the trash in that area and know where it's taken. So they're obviously going through that -- wherever that dump is. And they're going through it with the help of some technological equipment that will help them find it.
MORGAN: Right. Mike Mukasey, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
I want to turn to Bill Gavin. He's the FBI assistant director and now vice president of a security service firm. He's also a Boston native. Bill, we have spoken many times in the last two-and-a-half weeks about this case. But it would seem that these developments today are pretty significant. What is your reading of it from an FBI point of view?
BILL GAVIN, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: They sure are. And I agree with Judge Mukasey. You know, I don't know if I have enough concrete facts at this particular point in time, Piers, to talk about conspiracy and what not. But I'm well beyond -- light years beyond poor judgment, stupidity and anything else.
The thing that sticks out in my mind when they got the backpack, were the elements that left -- that were left over from the bomb-making -- from the fireworks. Were they in the backpack, or were they in the room someplace, and they had to pick them up and put them in the backpack? Was the Vaseline -- a key ingredient -- was that in the backpack, or was that someplace else in the room. These are all things that have to be ferreted out and looked at.
I believe that in finding the backpack, the fireworks, the Vaseline, I suspect that the computer was also found. And that's got to be a treasure trove full of information that the law enforcement authorities are looking through right now.
MORGAN: Right. And when you also have this extraordinary thing in the restaurant, a month before the bombings, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says I know how to make a bomb -- if you are one of those three who was charged today, one of his friends who hangs out with him and did so subsequently after that dinner, and you see the Boston bombings go off, you have got to think, hang on. We had dinner with this guy who says he knows how to make a bomb. Now there has been a bomb. And he's telling us to take stuff out of the room. I mean, you piece all that together, it's pretty damning, isn't it?
GAVIN: It is pretty damning. I don't know they could have made the absolute identification prior to those photographs appearing on TV, Piers. But once they appeared on it TV, there is no doubt these kids knew that guy was involved in the bombing. And to send him and get a message from him, "lol, take what you need," it doesn't make any sense to me.
And I still have a big question mark in the back of my mind, Piers, as we talked about before. You just don't make a bomb in a very simple fashion. You have to have some help to do that, in my mind. And I think there will be some more to come out of this case that might show that perhaps there was some assistance there.
MORGAN: Right. We also know about this fireworks display that went on a few weeks before involving at least one of the suspects with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev testing them out, maybe, or just having a bit of fun. It looks pretty sinister now.
Bill Gavin, thank you very much for joining me.
Coming up, a Muslim cab driver says he was attacked because of anger over the Boston bombing. He's also a U.S. military veteran and captured it on his cell phone. And he'll talk about it all next.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you denounce it? Will you say that was bad? No, you won't.
MOHAMMED SALIM, CAB DRIVER: Sir, whatever you say, it's recording.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't give a flying (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SALIM: I'm going to call 911 right now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORGAN: A disturbing case of apparent retaliation for the Boston bombings left an Iraq war veteran with a broken jaw. The violent confrontation was caught on video. Cab driver Mohammed Salim says he picked up a passenger in Virginia who began attacking his religion and also compared him to the bomb suspects. Muhammad says the passenger then began punching him. He recorded the confrontation on his cell phone.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're (EXPLETIVE DELETED) radical (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are (EXPLETIVE DELETED) blowing people up all over the world.
SALIM: Who, me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. Have you read your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) jihad?
SALIM: So, I'm not a radical --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) a, if you're ace Muslim, you're (EXPLETIVE DELETED) jihadist.
SALIM: I'm going to call you right now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to fly planes into the United States.
SALIM: I'm going to all you to the police.
Okay. Whatever you are saying is recorded. And -- now you're punching me? You are punching me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Mohamed Salim joins me now, along Gadeir Abbas, his attorney. The person that attacked you, Mohamed, is a man called Ed Dahlberg (ph). Why do you think he did this?
MOHAMED SALIM, CAB DRIVER ATTACKED BY PASSENGER: Well, because I'm a Muslim.
GADEIR ABBAS, ATTORNEY: And we don't really have to infer as to why it is that Ed Dahlberg chose to verbally assault Mohamed, as well as attack him. While Mr. Dahlberg is leaving the cab for the first time, on the video that Mohamed recorded, he -- Mohamed had the foresight to ask Mr. Dahlberg why was it that he was punching Mr. Salim. And his answer right before he slammed the door was because he is an expletive Muslim. Obviously, that's a clear indication that bias was at the heart of this.
And it's really -- zooming out to the broader context, we have to all be careful not to harden our hearts towards American Muslims at a time when heinous acts were committed in the name of Islam in Boston.
MORGAN: Right. Because, Mohamed, if I could come back to you, you are a Muslim-American. But you're also a U.S. Army reservists. You served in the Iraq War for America. When this man began spewing this ugly bile at you, simply because of your religion, you must have been particularly offended, given that you had risked your life for people like him.
SALIM: That's right, really offended. After I served the country, I sacrificed my life for this country and I love America and American army. I'm a soldier. When -- like, this guy -- the way he was accusing me, because I'm simply Muslim, and that's really, really hurtful. It hurts a lot. And the frustration and angry.
ABBAS: And Mohamed came to this country. He chose to immigrate from Somalia to the United States to avail himself of the safety and security and opportunity that America provides. So it's extra upsetting that after immigrating to America for those opportunities, after serving his country, this is how Mr. Dahlberg chooses to treat a fellow citizen.
MORGAN: Right. I mean, Mohamed, what is your view of people who take a negative view of all Muslims after an incident like the Boston bombings? Because we know that some people do that. They react in a very offensive way and think all Muslims are bombers. As a Muslim, as a proud American as well, how do you feel about that?
SALIM: Really I feel really angry and frustration. I mean, as 1.5 billion Muslims around the world and a lot of Muslim-Americans who serve this country and me, myself, I'm an example -- and as I said, sacrificed the country, keeping America safe, that's really -- it frustrated me. And I'm really angry.
So we don't deserve this. We are American like them or like him. We're not just a Muslim. We're Muslim-American. So it's --
MORGAN: I want to read you a statement which is from Dahlberg's lawyer. Part of it reads, "Mr. Dahlberg's comments to Mr. Salim were regretful. He apologizes to anyone who found them offensive. Anyone who listens to the entire conversation and views the entire tape will hear that most of the conversation had a friendly tone. Unfortunately, it got emotional as the discussion turned to Jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America."
Well, you know, frankly, let me do a bit of talking for you, Mohamed. That wasn't a friendly conversation that we heard. It was a deeply offensive slur on you and all Muslims, and particularly American Muslims who had nothing to do with the Boston bombings. So they can tap-dance all they like on this, but we heard what we heard and we saw what we saw.
My question to you is this: how did you keep your cool? You're a big man. You're a trained soldier. Were you not tempted to hit him back and deal with him properly?
SALIM: Actually, that's the way I handle -- as we said, I'm well- trained physically and tough-trained. But I didn't take it that way. Actually, I just, you know, calmed myself. I could defend myself. I could, you know, take action against him. But then it's going to be a different story. So, I mean, that's why I controlled myself.
ABBAS: And Mohamed is putting his faith in the system itself.
SALIM: Yeah. ABBAS: There is hope that the local prosecutor will do the right thing, and pursue this case for what it is, a hate crime. And so Mohamed is putting his faith in the system. And he's been able to speak publicly about this incident, and reveal the ugly prejudice that he was unfortunately the victim of. And the hope is that this is an opportunity for all Americans to reject anti-Muslim prejudice. We can't let the -- thank you.
MORGAN: OK. I'm sorry. I know that you had to go, go to your shift, Mohamed, which is obviously what you need to do, most important to you. I want to just thank you for coming on and telling your story. It's a disgusting story in many ways. And I'm appalled that you have been treated this way by this repulsive man. I wish you every success in going after him in court.
And thank you for your service for America, particularly in Iraq. And I wish you all the very best for the future.
SALIM: Thank you very much.
ABBAS: Thank you.
MORGAN: After a terror attack like Boston, are Americans willing to give up their civil rights to try and prevent something like that happening again? New poll numbers next, as I fire up the grill and go toe-to-toe with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson.
MORGAN: Back now the Grill, where we're turning up the heat on the big stories of the day. Joining me now is conservative radio host Ben Ferguson. Ben, how are you?
BEN FERGUSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Doing well. Good evening.
MORGAN: So let's start with civil liberties. Only four out of ten Americans, in a new CNN/"Time" national poll say they're willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism in the wake of the Boston bombings. Interestingly, in 1995 after the Oklahoma bombing, 57 percent of the country said they were willing. So there has been a marked shift in public opinion on this. What is your view?
FERGUSON: I'm not surprised by this, because I think after Oklahoma City, we didn't know exactly how to use technology to our advantage to fight terrorists around the world. After 9/11, we obviously got our rear ends in gear and started to figure out what was appropriate, what was not appropriate. And I think most Americans now feel as if we have done enough to know how to fight terrorism without having to worry about our civil liberties or giving up anymore of our civil liberties.
And I think that's that kind of -- we know bad things are going to happen in the world. We know there is terrorism in the world. And we also feel as if the government has kind of figured out that happy medium of where to draw the line with my privacy, and how much we need to fight terrorism at the same time. MORGAN: OK. What about this scenario, because we now know that the FBI, a meeting with the owners of Phantom Fireworks, which is the type that were used to make these bombs in Boston, we believe, and they're training their staff in screening, and to, you know, say if something is a bit odd in terms of a customer wanting to purchase an unusual amount of fireworks. Would you see that as a new infringement on your civil liberties?
FERGUSON: No, I see that as criminal profiling. I mean, if you have people that are acting awkward and they're trying to buy fertilizer, for example, I would want someone to make a phone call and say you might want to check this out. The same way when you have someone acting odd buying an abnormal amount of fireworks and not with a bunch of kids around him, right around the holidays or the 4th of July or New Years, or if it's not for like a wedding celebration, I mean, that should stick out to people.
And I think that's when you have to look at criminal profiling. Are these things being used, whatever it may be, fertilizer or fireworks or anything else. And at the time, if it's being used, I think you've got to look at that, and that's just being smart, and not infringing on my rights. I can still buy those fireworks. If they said I couldn't buy them, then I would have a problem with it.
MORGAN: OK. Explain to me then why it is that you would be quite happy to have effectively a check put in place on firework purchases and firework purchases, but you're not prepared to have, say, background checks at gun shows or many gun rights people aren't prepared to have that. What is the difference?
FERGUSON: I didn't -- well, I didn't advocate for a background check, Piers, on fireworks. I didn't say that I should have to stand up and get a I.D., first of all, or fill out a piece of paper that goes to the FBI to check my background. That's not what I advocated for. I said if there is suspicious activity. Hold on a second. If there is suspicious activity --
MORGAN: No. What about if somebody a bit suspicious-looking turns up at a gun show and wants to buy an AR-15 or four of them, for example? At the moment, in 40 percent of all of the trades at these gun shows, nobody cares. Nobody asks who he is, whether he's a criminally minded person, has a criminal record, maybe mentally ill. What is the difference between that scenario and somebody being suspicious buying fireworks?
FERGUSON: How many -- well, I will say this. How many people have bought AR-15s illegally, and used them to commit a heinous crime or a mass shooting in this country? You're implying that everyone going to a gun show is purposely trying to get around a background check from a dealer who has to give you a background check.
MORGAN: No. I'm not, actually. FERGUSON: You look at Newtown. Hold on, look at Newtown. Would a background check in Newtown have fixed the problem? No, it wouldn't have. We know that factually now. We know Aurora, Colorado, a background check wouldn't have fixed that. You are dealing with mental health issues. You want to have a mental health registry, I'm your best friend right now.
But I'm not saying we should background check for fireworks or background check every single person if I'm going out to buy a .22 rifle for my uncle.
MORGAN: Right. But what you are agreeing with me about is that there is a clear need, and you would be perfectly in favor of it, for if somebody suspicious turned up to buy fireworks in one of these Phantom Fireworks Stores, for example -- and there are 1,200 of them in America. You would have no problem with that. But if they do it at a gun show, whoa, you can't do that, mate; it's infringing my Second Amendment rights.
FERGUSON: If someone walks up and tries to buy a gun, for example, walks up and goes, hey, man, I need to buy a gun out back, around the corner, normal law-abiding citizens are not going to sell that guy a gun. There is a black market for weapons out there. We should punish people on the black market. You've got to work the laws that we have that we're not enforcing.
MORGAN: Let me ask you this, something about guns. In Kentucky, a five-year-old boy shot and killed his two-year-old sister with a rifle he had been given as a present for his birthday, a rifle that is marketed specifically for children. Explain to me why a five-year-old should be given a gun as a present that can then be used in this tragic case, to kill his two-year-old sister.
FERGUSON: Yeah, there is a difference between giving your child a present and being a terrible parent. You had a terrible parent in this situation, who is incredibly ignorant and stupid to leave, first of all, a loaded weapon out around adults, you don't do that, much less children. Second of all, you had a stupid parent that didn't lock up the gun. So I don't know what law you're going to pass to allow for parents to be screened to be dumb or not.
I mean, that would be pretty hard to enforce. But I know that I was given a gun on my 6th birthday and 7th birthday and 8th birthday. But they weren't in my possession. They were put up in my parents' room where I only got to see them under their supervision. If you want to, you know, legislate patterns being dumb or not dumb, you figure out how to do it, and we'll see if it works. But you can't blame the gun for the situation where you have a dumb parent.
MORGAN: All I'm aware of -- right, but, Ben, all I'm aware of is that earlier this month, in the same month, a four-year-old shot and killed a deputy's wife at a barbecue in Tennessee. Right? The next day, also in Tennessee, while his mother slept, a two-year-old found a Glock pistol under her pillow and shot her in the stomach. Two days after that, in Tom's River, New Jersey, a six-year-old boy, Brandon Holt, shot in the head and killed by a four-year-old. How many more of these --
FERGUSON: You also --
MORGAN: -- indiscriminately before people wake up and go that's enough kids shooting guns and being shot with guns, isn't it?
FERGUSON: Piers, 170 adults last month ran over children because they didn't look in their rear-view mirror. Are we going to pass a law to fix stupid drivers? Are we going to mandate a law that says you must have nine cameras? No, you're missing -- listen carefully to what I'm saying. My point is this: every situation you just talked about was irresponsible parenting, who were irresponsible with a deadly weapon, the same way that 170 parents were irresponsible when driving over a child when they backed up and didn't look in their rear-view mirror. That is called irresponsible humans, not irresponsible gun, which did not commit the crime.
You had a dumb parent in the household.
MORGAN: OK. Look, all I would say to you, it is perfectly illegal to sell a car to a five-year-old in this country. And the reason for that is public safety.
FERGUSON: You can't sell a gun to a five-year-old, Piers.
MORGAN: Well, you market these guns in America to sell to five-year- olds. The gun was marketed to sell to a five-year-old.
FERGUSON: Piers, you market almost everything. We have little Cadillac Escalades that have a battery in them for kids. We have mini four-wheelers for kids. We have mini Harley Davidsons for kids. We have all of these things. But at the end of the day, a five-year-old is not legally allowed to go buy an actual gun. A grown adult with a background check, who has to go in and fill out paperwork, is the owner of that gun. It's not in the name of the child. And that's the problem, is bad, irresponsible parents.
MORGAN: Got to leave it there, Ben. Always good to see you. Thanks for coming back on the Grill. And I'm sure I'll be grilling you again soon. Or as you would see it, grilling me. It's good to see you.
When we come back, caught on camera, the deadly crash of a Boeing 747. A warning, the images are graphic. I'll ask a former NTSB investigator what went so horribly wrong.
MORGAN: A horrifying scene caught on camera, a Boeing 747 crashing into flames at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, killing all seven Americans on board. A warning about the video is dramatic and disturbing. The video is shot from the dash cam of a U.S. contracted vehicle on the ground, shows the plane taking off and climbing in altitude before suddenly falling to the ground and bursting into flames. Investigators believe that a cargo shift may be to blame for the plane losing control. There was a crash at Bagram Air Base on Monday. The Department of Defense has not confirmed that this video is of that crash.
Joining me now is Greg Feith. He is a former NTSB senior investigator and aviation security consultant. Welcome to you, sir. What is your theory about what would have caused a 747 to go into this extraordinary rapid plunge like this?
GREG FEITH, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR: Piers, one of the things about coming up with a theory this early in an investigation is that it's probably going to be wrong. It's really up to the investigators now to collect all the facts, conditions and circumstances.
But when you look at that video, the obvious cause right now, or at least that's what's being publicized by a lot of folks, is that there may have been a cargo shift that resulted in the inability of the flight crew to actually get the nose to get over to maintain that air speed. The airplane went into an aerodynamic stall at a very low altitude, insufficient for the crew to recover.
One of the things that I did when I was with the NTSB is I did an investigation involving a cargo aircraft, a large DC-8, that crashed in California. It had similar circumstances. And in fact, the crew had reported a cargo shift. But when we did the investigation, we found that they had a flight controlled problem with the elevators which controls the pitch of the airplane.
At this point, it's a little too early to try and speculate whether it's cargo shift or a mechanical malfunction with the aircraft.
MORGAN: But we do know that at Bagram, because of the nature of the base there, that planes have to take off at a much steeper gradient than a normal 747 would have to. We also know it was carrying five armored vehicles being taken out of Afghanistan as part of the draw down of U.S. forces, each one of those weighing 27,000 pounds.
So as you say, the most likely scenario may well turn out to be simply that the cargo, being so heavy, was just placed on the plane, and it was in such a steep gradient, that's what flipped it.
FEITH: Cargo airplanes -- when you load a cargo airplane, they have what's called the load master. He happened to be on this particular flight when the airplane crashed. But it's his responsibility to ensure that the cargo is distributed properly and properly secured. One of the things that investigators are going to have to find out is how they secured those vehicles and the other cargo, and to see where those vehicles were loaded in the aircraft. That aft shift, that is if one vehicle broke loose, it could be a cascading effecting causing other vehicles to break lose, go to the back of the airplane.
But as you saw in the video, the nose then fell through or came forward. And then the cargo that moved back will now move forward. So that creates a real instability for the pilots to try and control. MORGAN: Right. And we should remember that seven Americans lost their lives in this. And our condolences to all of their families on this appalling tragedy and quite extraordinary footage.
Thank you very much, indeed, to you, Greg Feith, for joining me. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Time now for a new section, Dear Piers, where I read your Tweets and get the chance to respond. Tonight's comes from a woman called Lisa. She's talking about the Tsarnaevs and says "they should have no civil liberties. We treat criminals in this country better than civilians. Absurd."
To which my answer is the reason America is such a great country is because every one of its citizens is entitled to the same Constitutional rights. And you tamper with that principle at your peril, Lisa.
So keep firing the Tweets me, @DearPiers -- @PiersMorgan, using the hashtag #DearPiers. And we'll have more of those tomorrow and every night.
That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.